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ABC 7 News at 600

News News/Business. Peterson, Bunyan, Hill, Brant. New. (CC)

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ABC

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00:30:00

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SCANNED IN

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mpeg2video

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ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
528

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

James J. Lee 5, Us 4, Virginia 2, Kevin Frazier 2, Carolina 2, North Carolina 2, Ocean City 2, James Lee 2, New York 2, New Jersey 1, Fairfax 1, Canada 1, Overpopulation 1, Washington 1, Lee 1, Delaware 1, Leesburg 1, Brad Balcombe 1, Emery 1, Krebs 1,
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  ABC    ABC 7 News at 600    News  News/Business. Peterson,  
   Bunyan, Hill, Brant. New. (CC)  

    September 1, 2010
    6:00 - 6:30pm EDT  

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active crime scene, so people have to be patient. our expectation is tomorrow morning we will be open for business and making great tv. >> we did not know what access he had. we know that he has been in touch with the news organizations in new york. we did not know if he had access to the internet. to a television. obviously, anything that was ongoing, we did not want to be aware of. that is for everybody safety. >> it is still an active and dynamic investigation. we want to be cautious and prudent in the comments that we make. we will take direction from law- enforcement.
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it is important that we get all the fax -- facts. the priority is going to be nurturing and responding to employees of the coming days because this is a scary events. it really is. i am proud of the discovery family. what makes this a great company is the culture of the place. it is a very loyal, comprehensive, cooperative fun place to work with a lot of great, great people. that strength came through today. >> can you address the 2008 arrest, please? >> good evening. i want to give you an update. now that the law enforcement piece of this -- is still a crime scene. are explosive investigative section will now begin very methodical work to look at to
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any potential devices that are still in the building or around the building. with me right now is battalion chief kevin frazier, who is in charge of our explosive section. i will ask him if he will provide a framework of what the steps are going to be. >> i am battalion peak -- battalion chief. but emery county bomb squad in coordination with multiple bomb squads from the washington metropolitan region are going to methodically go through the discovery building and identify all items that we need to review and evaluate. we will come up with plans to clear those items if they are not dangerous at all. at this time, while we are in campaign mode, we will utilize as much time as we need. i do not have a definitive timeline at this point for you.
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that is the operations currently with the bomb squad. >> can you describe the explosion that happened when he was shot? was it a big blast? >> all we know is that there was some sort of an event and we cannot conclude as to what the event was and exactly why the device went off or is it even went off. we're trying to determine what exactly occurred. >> any fire or smoke? >> battalion chief kevin frazier from montgomery county fire. we have just been updated on the status of all of this afternoon's events in downtown silver spring. the situation right now is that the police department, fire department are working together to do some sweeps of the discovery building. at this point, the suspect has been shot and killed.
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all of the hostages, there were three male hostages, they are okay. they have been released from the building. everyone is doing just fine. police and fire department has both voice some concern about a couple of boxes and a couple of backpacks that the suspect took inside the building with him. they may have explosives inside. so at this point, authorities are working to identify where those boxes and backpacks are. make sure there are no explosives inside and to make sure their poll that of the building safely. >> let's give an update from brad bell. >> we also understand that in addition to the boxes and backpacks, the suspect actually spread some liquid around inside the building. it may have simply been a water
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bottle, but he spreads some liquid around in the lobby. that needed to be checked out as a possible hazardous material as well. a very confusing situation. it lasted for five hours. a frightening situation. >> it all started about 1:00 when a man believed to be a long time anti discovery channel protester james j. lee walked into the lobby and fired a shot. she was trapped in her office across the street. >> it was so scary. it was scary. you cannot leave the building. the police came and what not on the door and said, you cannot leave. >> he appeared to have explosives strapped to his back and took three hostages. as the rest of the discovery building was evacuated, including a day care center,
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where he hunkered down in the lobby for the long haul. outside, police created a safe zone. >> it is unbelievable. unbelievable. >> at about 2:00, with police swat teams and bomb squad at the ready, negotiations on cell phones began. then suddenly, just before 5:00, we are gunshots. police chief delivered the news. >> the police ultimately shot the suspect. there came a time where with tactical cruise watching the suspect, they were watching the entire time on security cameras as well as with their own eyes, they saw the suspect craze is gone toward a hostage. something transpired. police tactical units shot and
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killed the suspect. we're told that his body was outside the building. it appeared that there was some sort of detonation of explosive device that the suspect had on his body when he was shot. the chief originally said it was a puff of smoke. now we have moved into what could be a long and laborious process of making sure the big discovery building is completely safe and free of explosives. we have also heard that the police will be shrinking the parameter for the evening, might be some time yet that people will be allowed to move back into a silver spring deceiving. >> let me ask you. where was the suspect to -- as snipers clearly had a shot at him. where was it located? >> weird that the suspect was outside in front of the
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building. outside the main entrance. somehow or another, he came to the outside. >> a baby's diapers a clear shot. >> please also revealed to us that -- that he may have pulled out a gun and pointed at one of the hostages and that is what prompted police to shoot him in front of the discovery communications building. we have been following this situation all day long. he is live now in the newsroom. >> you talk about what the police chief just referenced. it people at discovery were familiar with james j. lee. perhaps they had no idea that he would take it to this extent. but as they scoured the internet and read the long list of demands that he had written of discovery, his distaste for discovery certainly had been growing. >> on his myspace page, an
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ominous looking photo with the caption, i am ready to do something. james j. lee seemed poised for a dramatic act and it would not be his first grade in 2008, commotion outside the discovery channel headquarters after he was handing out fliers that offered $200,000 in property forever could put up with an idea that would -- for a tv show that would help save the planet. >> there is a crazy man handing out money. >> he was arrested for disorderly conduct and his mental stability questions. his agenda adopted was to save the earth. he even wrote a list of demands for discovery channel, of animals, nothing is more important than saving them. he claimed to be an atheist with
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no desire to have children. overpopulation, he wrote, was destroying the planet. we're also hearing some reports from the man who has identified him as a brother-in-law. he claims that he has been erratic for years. his behavior considered dangerous. >> according to this website, he was inspired by i novel. -- by a novel. the theme of it is that human supremacy on this planet is a mess and that modern civilization perpetuates this. he was actually a guerrilla that communicated telepathically. he was inspired by al gore and his documentary. >> that is true. he did write about that in his very thorough list of demands. we had a colleague who contacted the author of some of the sources he was citing who
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felt that it was misinterpreted. perhaps, he was not reading things the same way that things were intended it would lead people to believe that yes, there was some erratic behavior and a misguided thoughts on how he should act out to save the planet. it was his intention. it was to find a way to save the earth. he thought that discovery channel was not doing enough to further that cause. that is why discovery channel was its target. >> he claimed they were all about making money and not saving the planet. >> discovery said that they were familiar with lee. in 2008, after the incident where he was protesting outside, he was arrested and it did go through a magistrate to order a doctor's evaluation. at this point, we're told that court records do not indicate
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what the results of that was. he was convicted. he served two weeks in jail. he is supposed to save 500 feet away from discovery. clearly, he was in violation of that today. that really disrupted the day for thousands and thousands of people in silver spring. rebecca cooper has been on the scene bit about the evening. we want to check in with her. >> not only were the employees evacuated, but many employees in buildings and the surrounding area were evacuated. all of the employees were told to immediately evacuate the building. police say that had never happened before. they went down the staircases. people remained calm. when they were outside, they were told where to go from
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there. it was very stressful for many of them. there is a day care center in the discovery channel building. we spoke to one of those fathers who was later reunited with his son. he was complimenting the day care workers. the about the incident, the deer care workers were quickly shoveling the children out of the day care center. they were rolling krebs across the street as they return to crawl all the children into one safe place and reunite them with their families. they were taken to another location where they were kept in locked down until all of them could be reunited with their families. a big problem was a lack of communication between what was going inside the building and outside the building. even some of the top staff could not be sure that the entire day care had been evacuated. one of the things that they were trying to do inside the
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building, they had 10 key staff members stay inside the building, talk to the police as they needed to. with the cameras that they had inside the building, they were able to watch the gunmen and see what was happening. they had four people face down and were trying to identify those employees. there were many employees that were in the upper levels that were unable to evacuate. all is clear. they are still not letting people back into the building. they continue to do a floor by floor check to try and make sure there are no explosives inside this building. >> you have to hand it to the montgomery county police and the way they handle this thing. >> it is very impressive. the employees complemented them on that. they put many of procedures into
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place following 9/11, but they have been testing does procedures every year. there is a floor manager assigned to every floor in case they need to evacuate this building and they communicated quickly with those floor managers. this gentleman was just released two weeks ago. no one remembers seeing him. they had to put this procedure quickly into place when he arrived today. >> thank you very much. the suspect is dead and the hostages are safe. >> that is the best case ending to what it could have been a tragic tragic end. kudos to all the departments that were part of making this ending a successful one. >> absolutely. 43 years old, james lee is dead. he was trying to save the planet, but he could not save himself. another story is that there is a hurricane on the way.
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we have an expert. go to suzanne kennedy. >> i can tell you that the mandatory evacuation went into effect at about 5:00 this morning. that affected areas to the south of where i am right now. or i am now, there is not an evacuation in place. at this hour, most people in this area are wondering what kind of impact by hurricane earl have in it -- on this area. a turning search and cars headed northbound are signs that the outer banks that a major atlantic hurricane is on its way. they are under a mandatory evacuation order.
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cars and campers led the area throughout the day. the mandate is forcing the marshall family of virginia to cut their summer vacation in half. >> this is the last night. we distorted run things together. >> labor on vacation. -- this week -- we were on vacation. >> along the shore, a hurricane flags flapped in the strong wind. this woman and her daughter are staying out of the water rather than paying aid to under $50 fine. >> it is disappointing. call it -- i would like to get in and fill the salt water will take whatever we can get. >> weather wise, they are gearing up for this category three hurricane. winds are topping 70 miles per hour are expected here overnight thursday. those in the the damage that can be caused by a significant
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hurricane are getting ready. >> we into last-minute is not the best idea. -- waiting until the last minute is not the best idea. >> right now, there is a state of emergency in effect both in north carolina and in virginia. experts are keeping a watchful eye on hurricane earl. it was downgraded to a category 3 hurricane earlier today. they will be watching it tonight. that storm is expected to hit here sometime overnight thursday night. for more on the hurricane, the go to doug hill. >> it has been upgraded to a category for status once again. -- four. it is continuing to move off to the northwest.
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they have seized their at 30 feet. -- seas there. we're checking out the data on the wave heights. we are showing this -- it is indicating that wave heights are 32 feet towards the center of the storm. just imagine, at this whole area is headed up to the north towards the outer banks. there are a number of watches and warnings. we have a hurricane watch in effect from the virginia-north carolina border northward to delaware. at the same time, we have tropical storm warnings in effect from virginia-north carolina border all the way up to new jersey. the worst part of the storm's effect will be between 2:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. this coming friday.
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easterly winds tomorrow night at 3-35 miles per hour. waves will be 8-10 feet. depending on the exact track, at the center is expected to pass very close to the outer banks of north carolina. just a tiny will go to the left means a much stronger winds. it will be a fairly short period of time we will be dealing with because the storm will be increasing speed once it passes east of the maryland-delaware coastline. this is the 58 day we have been above 90. 75 is the morning low. current temperatures, still plenty hot outside. 97 in leesburg. 94 degrees in fairfax. this is a holiday weekend and it will be fine. 93 tomorrow.
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partly sunny and pleasant, near 90 degrees on friday. we do not expect any effect of the metro a fax. -- in the metro area. tied to be 1-3 feet. a lot more. bob ryan will have the very latest track tonight at 11:00. >> no stress for the weekend. >> absolutely. but along the coast, everyone is keeping a close eye on things. >> a number of developments we are hearing from some hotel managers that they are warning guests that they will have to check out if the wind gusts get into the 100 mile per hour category. that is not expected, but here is latest development. the red currants are so bad behind me that people are being warned to stay out of the water.
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>> hurricane earl has been on the mind of the city for a number of days. >> on a picture-perfect each day in ocean city, this story is the water. a very few people are venturing in. >> we were out earlier and somebody came up to us and said, you are out to deep. >> selling restrictions were announced here. no one is supposed to go in over their knees. >> please, please, do not go into the water. >> -- we were there when a life guard waved in a couple of the swimmers. >> parents are keeping their children away from albert currents that have contributed to some 560 rescue since saturday. did lead to a dozen entries. -- did lead to a dozen injuries. >> keeping us out of the water. i am stressed, but i am hiding
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it. >> families are keeping a wary eye on the forecast. hurricane earl is expected to fully briefed by ocean city, pretty strong wind gusts and high waves. if conditions worsen, their family will leave early. >> is coming close to the shore and we believe earlier. >> the other big development, gov. martin o'malley and city leaders are actually urging an morning travelers to not drive into or out of ocean city on friday when conditions are expected to worsen. >> thank you. the big story today was the hostage situation at the discovery channel and silver spring. >> the man at the center of this, james j. lee, do we have been learning more about throughout the day. we have been following the
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situation and the resolution to the story. now the investigation as to who he is and what might have motivated this attack. >> so much of what we have been looking into the past few hours revolves around his passion for environmentalism and his distaste and hatred for discovery channel because he said it was not doing enough to promote a way to save the earth. we have several pages of his writings and they show us how intensely he felt. this is a video from 2008, a store we did on him when he was outside discovery channel headquarters throwing thousands of dollars of money into the air. he handed out fliers encouraging people to come up with the best idea yet to come up with a television show to save the planet. he continually protested the habits and practices of the discovery channel, saying that they were promoting things like
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growth around the country. we were already overpopulated. people were really the enemy here. the ranting, the writings mate have been some red flags. the discovery channel employees were familiar with him. they knew about him for -- but knew what -- but no one knew they would come it would come to this today. he did that today. it ended with his life being taken before he could take the lives of others. james j. lee, 43 years old, will be scrutinized over and over throughout the next few days as people try to figure out more about canada and what led up to today's events. -- more about him and what led up to today's events. he was trying money into the air to gather a crowd and attention so he could draw attention to
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what he thought was a travesty by discovery channel. if you come up with this great idea to help save the planet, i will give you a $200,000 piece of property. clearly, at that point even the judge, when he before -- when he appeared before him was serious about his mental stability. it was a stunt, but perhaps one that was a precursor to this much more violent one today. >> thank you very much. >> we want to check in with brad balcombe and who is live on the scene in silver spring. we learned in this last press briefing? james lee may have pointed his gun at one of the hostages and at that point, police shot 10. do we know anything more about whether he -- what the status is
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of the spot -- sweep. >> his body remains on the ground in front of the discovery building. police believe he has live explosives strapped to his body still and they will be very methodical about approaching him and dealing with that. it is going to be a tight scene around the front of the building for quite some time. it has been hectic here since 1:00 this afternoon, when this guy first walk in and fired off a weapon and took three hostages. he kept them in the lobby there all afternoon. how it all ended, the police or able to continually keep an eye on the sky through security systems and security video cameras would end the discovery channel facility. they were also able to see him with their eyes because he was right in the lobby.
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negotiations went on for a long time. we understand that he made some phone calls himself. he called a news organization in new york. i do not know which one that is. but he made phone calls himself and there was communication. there were trying to keep things calm. on the outside, it was frantic. people were being moved away, one during what was going on, concerned for friends and neighboring buildings as word came out that this man was armed with don -- a gun and life explosives. anything could have happened. police made a huge parade and, at not knowing how -- made a huge parameter, not knowing how powerful these explosives could be. in the end, at there was some sort of a move made with a gun
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towards the hostages and we're told that montgomery county police or tactical officers were able to take a clear shot and take the suspect down. again, to wrap it up, it is still a bit of a traffic mess here in downtown silver spring. things are starting to loosen up. the crime scene is going to go on for quite some time as the body of james j. lee remained on the ground covered with live explosives. >> thank you very much. do not look for any clear traffic around there. >> definitely an area to avoid. we will continue to follow the investigation into today's incident in silver spring. >> that is all for us.